Zac Gallen deals, D-backs set franchise steals record but fall to Twins on walk-off homer

Aug 6, 2023, 4:45 PM | Updated: 4:47 pm

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning at Target Field on August 06, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks received a gem from starter Zac Gallen, stole a franchise record eight bases but were defeated 5-3 by the Minnesota Twins Sunday at Target Field after a two-hour rain delay.

The Twins completed the three-game sweep on a Matt Wallner walk-off home run off closer Paul Sewald, who picked up his first blown save with the team after joining the D-backs at the trade deadline.

Christian Walker hit a go-ahead solo shot in the ninth off Twins lefty Caleb Thielbar to give Arizona a 3-2 advantage, but Max Kepler blasted Sewald’s first pitch 438 feet to right. Jorge Polanco walked to set up Wallner for the knockout blow.

Corbin Carroll, Tommy Pham (2), Walker, Jake McCarthy (2), Carson Kelly and Jace Peterson all swiped bags to set the record, although Arizona’s offense struggled to bring them home at 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

The D-backs lost six straight games to end their road trip 1-6. They are 5-16 since the All-Star break, free falling from a share of first place in the National League West to eight games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gallen gave the D-backs seven innings with two earned runs on four hits. He struck out eight hitters with a slightly different pitch mix than usual, leaning more heavily on his knuckle-curveball at 35% to get six whiffs.

The All-Star broke his four-game streak of giving up a home run, as a Willi Castro double was Minnesota’s only extra-base hit until the ninth.

Gallen looked untouchable through five innings with no runs on one hit and six strikeouts. Twins shortstop Carlos Correa grounded into two double plays to eliminate Minnesota’s base runners, although he would come up clutch later.

The D-backs’ offense struggled to give Gallen much of a lead, despite constant action on the base paths. Through six innings, they had nine hits and three walks but only a single run scored on a fielder’s choice in the fifth by Tommy Pham. Twins starter Dallas Keuchel made his first MLB start of the season after getting selected from Triple-A St. Paul, and he threw five innings with one run allowed.

Minnesota took the lead off Gallen in the sixth on a two-run single by Correa to left-center after Castro’s double and a walk.

Arizona answered right back on a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. RBI double, his third hit of the game.

Gurriel has started to find a rhythm offensively with hits in eight straight contests. He has three doubles, three homers and five RBIs over his last eight games.

Arizona had two opportunities to score with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth. Geraldo Perdomo hit a soft liner and Carroll struck out swinging through a fastball to end the inning.

The D-backs left 12 runners on base in the loss. They have now lost five straight Gallen starts.

Despite seemingly disastrous losses stacking on top of each other, the Diamondbacks remain in the wild card race at 1.5 games back of a playoff spot. The Chicago Cubs snatched the third wild card spot with a win on Sunday with the Cincinnati Reds dropping out.

Ketel Marte injury

Marte exited Sunday’s game in the fifth inning with right quad tightness. He is considered day-to-day.

Geraldo Perdomo entered the game at second base with Nick Ahmed starting at shortstop.

What’s next?

The Diamondbacks have Monday off before facing the Dodgers at Chase Field on Tuesday and Wednesday. Arizona has not seen the Dodgers since April 9 and is 5-3 against its division foes this year.

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Zac Gallen deals, D-backs set franchise steals record but fall to Twins on walk-off homer